High FDG activity in focal fat necrosis: a pitfall in interpretation of posttreatment PET/CT in patients with non-Hodgkin lymphoma
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PET/CT has a major role in lymphoma imaging, but glycolytic activity in inflammatory processes can reduce specificity. In this study we evaluated restaging PET/CT findings in patients with non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL) and fat necrosis.
We identified 16 patients from 8,819 restaging FDG PET/CT scans with suspicion of or biopsy-proven fat necrosis on PET/CT.
All patients had NHL and demonstrated focal FDG-avid nodular change on CT with density higher than that of fat but lower than that of soft tissue. Histological confirmation was obtained in eight patients, with high GLUT-1 staining between necrotic tissue and organizing fat necrosis evident. Uptake resolved in four patients, and surveillance was continuing in four without relapse.
Although rare, identification of fat necrosis in patients with a solitary FDG-avid nodule after therapy is important and may lead to the avoidance of unnecessary interventions or treatment. Specific features on CT aid identification, whilst follow-up imaging can be helpful as the metabolic abnormality regresses with time.
KeywordsPET Non-Hodgkin lymphoma Fat necrosis False positive
We would like to thank Dr. M. Dickinson, Professor M. Prince and Associate Professor D. Ritchie for contributing cases. Dr. R. Kashyap was supported by Endeavour Awards, a venture of Austraining International in partnership with the Government of Australia.
Conflicts of interest
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